TWB (Novel) Chapter 68


Bianca lay on the bed, sweating profusely. Her sweat-soaked hair was scattered over her round, white forehead.

Yvonne dampened the white linen with water and continued to wipe the sweat from Bianca's brow. Seeing Bianca in pain, Yvonne groaned in anguish.

Bianca's pale green eyes fluttered beneath her slightly closed eyelids. At the end of her gaze, Zachary appeared. Since when had he been standing there?

Standing in the corner, looking at her with an unfamiliar expression, he resembled a god of death. A shadow fell over his black eyes, like those of a reaper.

The corners of Bianca's lips lifted slightly, and her lips parted. The lips that used to look soft and smooth were now rough and cracked.

"...We need to call the tailor."

"Call him when you feel better. I'll buy you whatever you want."

Bianca's voice was weak, like a lamp about to go out. Zachary, wondering how difficult it would be to say a word, hastily added.

Indeed, Bianca could only manage a few words before she began coughing.

Yvonne, who had stayed back to not interrupt the conversation between Bianca and Zachary, approached hesitantly. But Zachary stepped forward first. When he reached them, Zachary, who had been standing in the corner, took the handkerchief from Yvonne's hands and approached Bianca.

Zachary's rough hand could be felt through the soft silk handkerchief. A firm hand that was as careful as if holding an egg, yet unmoving as if it had hardened. Bianca felt overwhelmed by the touch but had no energy to push it away.

"How many times have you coughed?" Bianca, who had just stopped coughing, looked exhausted and blinked at Zachary with a pale smile.

"Not mine, but the Count's."


Zachary's face tightened. The deep, piercing eyes beneath his furrowed brows burned with anger. Zachary was angry. He was angry with himself and no one else.

How poorly did he dress that Bianca would worry about it even while she was sick?

Until now, he hadn't cared much about his appearance, so he continued wearing whatever Vincent procured, but that seems to have been a mistake.

Was it perhaps because of his attire that Bianca would furrow her brow and look away every time she encountered him?

Zachary was well-versed in warfare, unbeatable in battle, and mastered all kinds of weapons and tactics.

He had a keen eye for the territory's tax rate and understood agricultural work to some extent, so there were few complaints from the residents.

But that was all.

Where Zachary excelled was only in the matters of his own world, but in the matters of Bianca's world, he was blind.

If it hadn't been for Vincent's help, he wouldn't have been able to accomplish so much, but upon discovering that even Vincent fell short compared to Bianca, it felt like a stone had struck his chest.

It was only his mistake to think that he had tried to give her everything she wanted until now...

While Zachary reflected on his anger towards himself, Bianca mistakenly thought that Zachary was angry with her.

But she couldn't understand why. She didn't know much about Zachary, but she did know that he wasn't the type of person to get angry with a sick woman.

Could it be that wearing new clothes is so troublesome that he can't hide his discomfort? Bianca shrugged and cautiously said,

"It may be bothersome to wear new clothes, but... You should have some decent clothing."

"I'm not upset. I'm sorry for making you worry about that while you're sick. Don't worry about my clothes."

It was a harsh but sincere response. Upon realizing that he wasn't angry with her, Bianca let out a long sigh of relief.

It had been very exhausting. Even more so because she was sick. Her head felt muddled, so she couldn't think quickly... Maybe it was her hallucination to have seen Zachary angry.

However, Zachary's lack of tact didn't even give Bianca time to catch her breath. Zachary sighed slowly and dropped a bomb on Bianca.

"In a few days, the Blancheforts will also arrive in the capital. I hope you get better before then."


Zachary must have been very careful with his words, but from Bianca's perspective, it felt like a blow to the back of her head.

Since the Blanchefort family is also prestigious, of course, they will participate in major events like the royal wedding. Why didn't she think of that?

Seeing Bianca's bewildered look, Zachary asked with concern,


"No. I never thought we would meet."

Zachary didn't understand the bitter murmuring of Bianca. Naturally, he thought she would be happy to meet her father, so why did she react like that?

"Is she afraid that he'll be against it? Yes, that's possible. After all, he is a ruthless husband who never took her to her parents' house for over ten years..."

Zachary had many reasons to make excuses, but it was almost useless for Bianca, who had been estranged from her family for ten years. Zachary bowed his head in front of Bianca, as if apologizing for his sins.

"They are your family. Of course, you can meet them. It's been ten years since you came to Arno. I'm sorry for not taking you earlier, but how can I prevent you from seeing your father?"

"No, no. It's not because of you..."

Bianca waved her hand, embarrassed, as she saw Zachary's broad shoulders shrinking in front of her. However, her forearm, lacking strength, collapsed onto the bed as soon as she waved her hand a couple of times. She was breathless because she had no energy.

"Even Count Blanchefort will want to see you."

"... Is that so?"

"Of course."

"I don't have that confidence."

Bianca didn't seem happy even though she would see her family for the first time in 10 years. Rather, there was only a notable sense of rejection.

What makes Bianca, who wasn't expelled by her brother like Zachary and left home at the age of seven, reluctant to reunite with her family?

Zachary, who didn't understand, asked the questions he felt in his mouth.

"Don't you want to see your father?"

"No. It's not that."

Zachary's question was too direct. It would be good if he could always say something like that. Bianca laughed bitterly.

It had been about ten years since she last saw her father, and if she added the years of her return, it would be a total of thirty years. What she felt for her father was something that couldn't be clearly defined.

Longing, affection, discomfort...

And the memory of being cast aside.

When she married Zachary and left the Blanchefort mansion, the words her father had forcefully urged her echoed in Bianca's ears.

Those unforgettable words. The reason why Bianca, who was young, wanted to return to Blanchefort but never did. The reason why the only letter she received was the obituary of her family. The reason why she returned and never visited her family...

"Now you are Arno. Don't even dream of returning to Blanchefort! I'll kick you out if you come back home!"

The stern shout echoed in her ears. The choking sensation in her throat suffocated her as she thought of the voice that seemed to push her out of the Blanchefort mansion.

Bianca smiled awkwardly and tilted her head at an angle. The tips of her white fingers caressed the back of her other hand for no reason.

"Just... I don't know if I'll be happy."

Bianca's usually confident face, always held high with her chin and neck, looked pale and tired. Zachary knew it wasn't just because she wasn't feeling well.

Zachary's face tightened. His black eyes looked at Bianca, tainted with pain. His own image overlapped with her figure. Zachary, at the age of sixteen, was abandoned by his elder brother after their father's death.

Count Blanchefort wasn't a bad person. He was quite strict and insensitive, and although he had a haughty side as a noble, he was far from being an exploiter. He was a trusted lord to the local population and a loyal vassal of the royal family of Sevran.

His evaluation was not generous simply because he was his father-in-law.

He was truly loyal to Sevran. To the extent that he sacrificed his seven-year-old daughter to solidify the power of the 1st Prince, who had a solid reputation.

However, just because he was a good count didn't mean he was a good father. If he had been a good father, Bianca wouldn't have reacted like this. Zachary was convinced.

From up close, he could even see Bianca's eyelashes trembling. Her pitiful appearance ignited something inside Zachary. And he firmly said,

"If you don't want to, you don't have to meet."

"Even so..."

"If you don't want to, you don't have to do anything."

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